MOVING TIPS For Sellers and Buyers

Packing pointers for homeowners on the move

VANCOUVER BC-The following are some tips from professional movers on how to pack:


Assemble your supplies at least one month in advance.
At a minimum, you’ll need several sizes of clean, close-able cardboard boxes, packing tape, permanent markers, bubble wrap, newspaper and/or tissue paper. You may also need special boxes for mattresses, artwork or mirrors, and table lamps. Buy a wardrobe box from your mover to transport the contents of your closets. Start packing as early as you can.


Room by Room
Stay organized by packing one room at a time. Label each box clearly with the room and a description of the contents – e.g. “Girl’s Bedroom – toy shelf contents”. Keep the boxes in the room, if possible. It’s helpful, when packing is complete for that room, to number the boxes (e.g. “Box 1 of 5”). At the other end, you’ll know if a box is missing or misplaced from that room. Keep a list of numbered boxes and their contents.


Heavy items in small boxes; light items in large boxes.
If you have a lot of books or an old collection of vinyl records, you’ll know how heavy they can be. If you’re moderately fit, you should be able to lift any box you pack. Double-box any fragile items, and add plenty of cushioning. Finally, when labeling the box, add a “Fragile” note, so the movers can treat it accordingly.


Don’t bother emptying your dresser or desk drawers.
To ensure that any items are secured. Remove any items which might cause problems in the case of freezing or spilling.


Set up a station for packing dishes.
Use a medium-sized carton and line the bottom with packing popcorn or crumpled paper. Try packing plates or soup bowls in threes: on a stack of packing paper, set the first plate. Pull up the corners of your paper and pull up to cover the plate completely. Set a second plate on the stack and repeat. When you finish the third plate, ensure that the bundle is completely covered, seal it with tape and place it carefully in the box.


Dealing with delicate items.
Lamps and lampshades should be removed and packed carefully. Wrap the harp and finial fittings separately and keep them in the box with the shade. You may want to tape them to the side of the box so they don’t get lost in a sea of crumpled paper.


Call in a specialist for the trickiest jobs.
If you’re moving an heirloom grandfather clock, for example, it should be prepared by a professional. With smaller clocks, you may be able to remove and/or secure the pendulum yourself. Unsecured, the clock can be badly damaged.


Computers and electronics need special care.
We all know we’re supposed to keep the original cartons. This is the reason why. Nothing will protect the equipment better than the custom-designed box it was originally shipped in. If you haven’t saved them, then you’ll need to improvise with strong corrugated boxes. Place a protective layer on the bottom of the box: a crumpled newspaper is usually fine. Wrap an old blanket, towel or bubble wrap around the item and place it in the box. Stuff additional padding around the item.


Pack as little food as possible, and pack it carefully.
It would be ideal if you didn’t need to move a scrap of food. But realistically, you’ll probably want to pack the contents of your spice cabinet, other staples, and perhaps a pantry of canned goods. Again, keep the weight of the boxes reasonable, with no more than 24-30 cans in a box. Secure lids of spice jars and wrap carefully in packing paper. Frozen food is the trickiest of all. Get advice from your mover. Some will transport carefully packed frozen food for a short move. Others will allow a fully stocked, fully frozen freezer to be moved with the food inside – generally only for a certain distance. In general, perishable food items like eggs and produced should not be moved.

What NOT to pack:
valuable papers, jewelry and cash should always stay with you. The movers don’t want the responsibility and you don’t want the worry. And don’t pack your appliances. In general, you only need to ensure that they are empty, clean, dry and unplugged. The movers will take care of the rest.

As the move day approaches, and rooms are packed, begin stacking the boxes as close as possible to the spot where the movers will park the truck.

While proper packing sounds like a lot of work, it’s an important safeguard for your precious possessions.

Moving with Pets – Some Important Tips

Cat-fits in the car, guinea pigs escaped at the diner, the snake that got left behind, and the dog that bit the moving man... you could fill a book with tales of the trials of moving with pets. But it doesn't have to be that way, if you do some planning and follow good common sense.

Firstly, remember that your pet is also a member of the family, and deserves some consideration in the moving plans. Your pet will also be leaving familiar surroundings, and you'll have some trouble helping your pet understand what's happening and why. Your goal will be to get your pet out of your present home and into your new home as securely and smoothly as possible. Think about your pet's temperament and special needs and put together a plan to help your pet make the transition:

  1. Plan for your pet's trip to the new home.
    Most pets will make the move in a car with the rest of the family. In the event that you're travelling by air, you'll need to make arrangements for your pet several weeks in advance. If necessary, get your pet used to a carrier.
  2. Make a moving day plan for your pet.
    Ideally, on moving day your pet should stay elsewhere, preferably in a familiar place: a favourite kennel service, or at a kind friend or relative's home. With all the comings and goings at your house - strange people and vehicles, and constantly opening doors - there are just too many chances for your pet to have a meltdown or meet with an accident. Stressed pets and movers don't mix well. If your pet must be in the house, find an empty room with the least commotion and put your pet there. Put a sign on the door to clearly indicate that the room is not to be entered. Ensure your pet has comfortable surroundings, enough freshwater, and some familiar toys.
  3. Try to keep a calm environment.
    Your pet will be picking up on the family's signals in the weeks before and after the move. If you're experiencing stress, your pet will be tuning into the change. No matter how crazy life gets, try to maintain (as closely as possible) your pet's feeding, watering, play, and exercise routines. Keep their familiar foods, toys, and bedding accessible. After all, there is upheaval enough in their surroundings now!
  4. Think about your pet's own personality.
    Cats are far more territorial than dogs are. Cats need to feel that they are in control of a changing environment, whereas dogs are far more attached to their owner than they are to the actual house. So make sure your cat always has a nook or cranny or box to hide in or under at both ends of the move.
  5. Make sure your pet is wearing identification.
    Also, take a picture of your pet and jot down a written description. Pets can be unpredictable when their home life is upset. There is a higher risk of your pet escaping in the weeks before and after the move.
  6. Prepare your pet for travel.
    When travelling by car with your pet, remember to restrict its food intake several hours ahead of the trip, and during the trip too. Animals should be in a carrier unless you are absolutely sure that they will not get under a brake pedal or cause a dangerous commotion. Most cats will sleep away their long trip. Your dog will be much happier if it has been well exercised before the trip. Use a tranquillizer for your pet as a very last resort, and then only with your veterinarian's instructions.
  7. Pack a travel kit for your pet.
    Be sure that the food is easy to digest, and use water from your regular home supply; changing diet or water sources are common causes of diarrhea and vomiting from upset stomachs. If in doubt, check with your veterinarian for food recommendations. Don't forget extra food for the arrival (can opener too!), medications and vet records, familiar toys, new identification tags, and something with a reassuring scent.



Packing takes time.  Start early.

Proper moving boxes are recommended but not required.  Any good strong box that can be properly closed and sealed will work fine.  Do not use open-top boxes unless absolutely necessary.  Check our Order Boxes page for information on box sizes and recommended loads.

Tape all boxes top and bottom with strong tape.  Use a black felt marker to label your boxes.  Mark the room and the box contents clearly to ease unpacking at your new home.

Do not pack unnecessary liquids!  Pack all liquids in one or two boxes, and clearly label them LIQUIDS, and THIS WAY UP to avoid spillage.

Use towels and linens as packing materials for fragile items.  Pack plates on edge, not flat.  Mark FRAGILE boxes clearly.

Whenever possible, pack boxes at waist level to avoid back strain.

Always pack lampshades in boxes.  Remove light-bulbs from all lamps.

2-4 Weeks Before Moving Day

Start several weeks before your move by deciding what you are going to take.  Go through your garage and your storage areas, and get rid of unnecessary junk.  If you have boxes you haven't opened in years, then you probably don't really need what's inside them.  Go through your closets and dressers, and get rid of clothing and footwear that you no longer use.  Sell used magazines and paperbacks.

Don't throw stuff away!

Have a garage sale, then call your local Salvation Army or it's equivalent in your area.  Your unwanted goods may be just what a struggling family needs.

Please be aware that we cannot transport the following goods;

Propane Tanks - BBQ, Camping Gear

Aerosols - Cleaners, Paints, Air Fresheners

Flammable Liquids - Gasoline, Diesel, Oil

Paint - Spray or Liquid, Varnishes

Hazardous Materials - Ammunition, Explosive

1-2 Weeks Before Moving Day

Start by packing your unimportant goods.  Pack up seasonal clothing, unused sporting equipment, camping gear, etc.  Dismantle swing-sets and home gyms.

Arrange transportation for pets and motor vehicles.

Reserve elevator and parking if necessary.

Don't forget to collect your lent-out goods from friends and neighbors!

Last Week Before Moving Day

Pack from least-to-most important.

Make sure to leave hand tools and cleaning supplies for last.

Tape long items like garden tools or hockey sticks in bundles of 5.

Remove propane tank and charcoal from the barbeque.

Drain fuel and oil from all motorized tools.  Leave fuel cap off till moving day. Remove curtains and blinds that will be moved. 

Wash walls.

Have grandfather clocks and appliances serviced for moving.

Roll up and tape or tie rugs and carpets to be moved.

Remove mirrors from dressers

Use mirror boxes or bulk cardboard to pack all pictures and mirrors.

Day Before Moving Day

It is not necessary to pack up your dresser drawers!  Remove all loose items (change, papers, jewelry, etc.) and fill your drawers with clothing, pillows, and linens.  Remember that it may be necessary to put your dresser on end.

Pack necessary clothing and toiletry in suitcases.

Defrost and clean your fridges and freezers.

Try to eat or give away as much frozen food as possible, especially if you are moving long-distance.  Pack all frozen food in boxes beforehand, then place the boxes back inside your freezer.  Leave freezers plugged in as long as possible.

Freezers will retain frozen food for 24-48 hours, depending on the season.

Pack all dishes, leave out only what you will need for the last night.  It's a good idea and a nice break to go out for dinner on the last night before moving.

Disconnect computers and stereo systems.  Labelling the wires with masking tape will make reconnection easier at your new home.

Water your plants.  They should be moist but not wet for moving days.  If you are moving long-distance, it is best to give away live plants.  They do not travel well.  Ship plants in open-top boxes or wardrobe containers.

Break down furniture if possible.  Remove legs from tables and sofas.  Remove all shelves from cabinets.  Secure drawers and cabinet doors.

Keep all fasteners and small parts separately.

Do not box televisions or computer monitors unless you have original boxes.

99% of your packing should be complete the day before you move.

Moving Day

Make sure the movers will have truck parking as close as possible to your door.

Get the elevator key from your building manager if applicable.

Disassemble beds and collapse bed-frames.

Disconnect appliances that will be moved.

Pack the goods you will need FIRST, LAST.  Mark these boxes OPEN FIRST.

Stuff you will need immediately includes;

Hand Tools

Cleaning Supplies

Shower Curtain and Towels

Toilet Paper and Toiletries

Favourite Toys

Alarm Clock

Coffee Maker


Remote Controls

Make sure that the movers will have a clear path to all furniture throughout your house.  Stack boxes against the walls, not on top of furniture.  Make sure that any items which you will be taking yourself are clearly marked and put aside.

  If possible, send pets and young children to friends or neighbours so they will not be underfoot.

In most cases, it is not necessary for you to remain at your home during the entire move.  Please inform the movers if you will be leaving early.

At Your New Home

If possible, send pets and young children to friends or neighbors so they will not be underfoot.

Place large room labels beside the doors at your new home.  If you label your boxes with the same names, the movers will be able to easily distribute your goods to the proper rooms.

Make sure you know BEFOREHAND where large or heavy furniture is going to be placed.  It is really no fun to move the same piece many times.

If several boxes will be going to one room (i.e. kitchen or office), set aside an area to stack them.  Try to leave cupboards and surfaces bare to make unpacking easier.

Remember, refrigerators and freezers will need to remain unplugged for a minimum of one hour after they have been moved.

Unpack as necessary, and take your time.  Moving is stressful.  Don't burn yourself out trying to do it all in one day.

You will most likely find that you need to adjust furniture and cupboards several times before finding the perfect lighting, access, and comfort. 

It is much easier to make these adjustments as you unpack, rather than after.

Most importantly, 

relax and enjoy your new home! 

MOVING TIPS - Vancouver Mortgage Broker Real Estate Advisor Adan Sprauer - 

Vancouver Realtor and Mortgage Advisor
Cell: 604-340-7778
Office: 604-434-1431

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